Credit non-priorities

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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TXviking
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby TXviking » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:19 am

astronautcowboy wrote:If you have a ton of Chase cards like me, you can get to a human for any of those cards immediately too, which is nice.


Yeah. I don't have a ton, but I had two others (Amazon and United.) I've since closed the United card, but the CSP CSR was able to notate international travel on both my remaining accounts at the same time, for example. So that's a good addition.


Kevin86475391
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby Kevin86475391 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:25 pm

For me another non-priority is simplicity.

I realize it's a big priority for a lot of people, but it isn't for me. I have no trouble keeping track of multiple accounts or which card earns the best rewards for a given thing - honestly it's really fun for me. In fact even if rewards were completely removed from the equation I'd still want to put different types of spending on different cards, just because that system better suits me and I like seeing all my groceries on one card, dining out on another, bills on a third, non-grocery consumer goods on a fourth, etc. It helps me budget and track spending much more easily than lumping everything together would. Indeed, way back in college before I had credit cards, I kept 4 different checking accounts active for this same purpose (this was back in the day when truly free checking accounts easier to come by and there were no direct deposit or minimum balance requirements). I just actively don't want all my expenses going onto one card/account.

That said, I do believe in keeping card apps to a minimum. I never add more than 1 card a year and usually more like 1 every 12-24 months, but if it's been a year or so since my last app will I consider adding another new card just to eek out an additional 1% rewards on a category I use a lot? Absolutely! Especially if there's an appealing signup bonus.

Of course this system only works for me because I don't have any interest or loyalty on particular rewards points. I'm just doing cash back so I don't care where it comes from. I also don't care how long it takes to get. Sure maybe I could get $90 in one month from one card, but I'd much rather spread that out and get $20 from five lenders, even if I have to wait another month till I hit a $25 threshold or something to redeem. I'm in no rush with redemptions. Maximizing is fun, worth the effort, and worth waiting a little longer to me. Simplicity is a complete non-priority for me.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:15 pm

Kevin86475391 wrote:For me another non-priority is simplicity.

I realize it's a big priority for a lot of people, but it isn't for me. I have no trouble keeping track of multiple accounts or which card earns the best rewards for a given thing - honestly it's really fun for me. In fact even if rewards were completely removed from the equation I'd still want to put different types of spending on different cards, just because that system better suits me and I like seeing all my groceries on one card, dining out on another, bills on a third, non-grocery consumer goods on a fourth, etc. It helps me budget and track spending much more easily than lumping everything together would. Indeed, way back in college before I had credit cards, I kept 4 different checking accounts active for this same purpose (this was back in the day when truly free checking accounts easier to come by and there were no direct deposit or minimum balance requirements). I just actively don't want all my expenses going onto one card/account.

That said, I do believe in keeping card apps to a minimum. I never add more than 1 card a year and usually more like 1 every 12-24 months, but if it's been a year or so since my last app will I consider adding another new card just to eek out an additional 1% rewards on a category I use a lot? Absolutely! Especially if there's an appealing signup bonus.

Of course this system only works for me because I don't have any interest or loyalty on particular rewards points. I'm just doing cash back so I don't care where it comes from. I also don't care how long it takes to get. Sure maybe I could get $90 in one month from one card, but I'd much rather spread that out and get $20 from five lenders, even if I have to wait another month till I hit a $25 threshold or something to redeem. I'm in no rush with redemptions. Maximizing is fun, worth the effort, and worth waiting a little longer to me. Simplicity is a complete non-priority for me.

Does meeting minimum spend on a new card make a mess of that system? Do you miss out on any rotating categories, or are you okay with making changes every 3 months?
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

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Vattené
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby Vattené » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:16 pm

I'm the same way, at least to an extent. I pay close attention to everything I have outstanding on all cards just to keep everything actively managed and not let spending get away from me. It's really not much more inconvenient to do the same thing across multiple cards. I'd be willing to add more cards to my portfolio but there isn't anything that interests me at the moment. There isn't really a major spend category I would like to cover, too. Discover rotates, but restaurants this quarter is great for me. I have gas and groceries (Walmart and Target on Sallie Mae, everything else on ED) covered year-round.

I do personally have a more restrictive limit for adding personalized cards, though. For example I don't have any interest in an AARP card just for restaurants. The marginal increase in rewards alone just isn't enough to entice me. Part of that is I'm also playing the MR game with my ED, and they can be more valuable when you have built up a lot of points. Not that I'm complaining about Discover's year of 2%, but I have let that take away spending from Amex - playing it safe and taking 2% cash over 1.2X MR. I actually prefer having all spending on one card, but the rewards make the trade-off an easy decision for me. When I started out focusing on credit card rewards I just had a Discover. I put absolutely everything I could (that didn't cost extra) through the card, and I loved using the spend analyzer to get a good picture of all of my spending. In a similar vein, though, my income goes to a separate account from my wife's. Our finances are completely intertwined, but I like using one source for credit card payments, and another for longer term things (mortgage payment, car payment, savings).
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FICO-8:
EX - 805 (2/17) | TU - 787 (2/17)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

Kevin86475391
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby Kevin86475391 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:51 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
Kevin86475391 wrote: that system better suits me and I like seeing all my groceries on one card, dining out on another, bills on a third, non-grocery consumer goods on a fourth, etc. It helps me budget and track spending much more easily than lumping everything together would.

Does meeting minimum spend on a new card make a mess of that system? Do you miss out on any rotating categories, or are you okay with making changes every 3 months?


Meeting minimum spend bonus on a new card is never really an issue for me because I can pay absolutely everything including my rent with credit cards. There's a 1% fee to do so, but I get 2% with the DC, so I still come out ahead and get the convenience of using a card. When I need to meet a minimum spend bonus I just switch rent payments to that card for the introductory 3 months. Since the cards I apply for usually still have at least a 1% base rewards it's still about a wash with the fee and makes meeting the spend incentive easy without actually spending anything extra.

It's not a problem at all switching cards every three month. I suppose if rotating categories weren't a concern I'd permanently assign a given category to a given card, but I'm mostly concerned with separating them out on a week to week or month to month basis to track. Changing every quarter or so isn't a big deal.

Vattené wrote:I do personally have a more restrictive limit for adding personalized cards, though. For example I don't have any interest in an AARP card just for restaurants. The marginal increase in rewards alone just isn't enough to entice me.


I am interested in the AARP card to up my restaurant rewards, but it's a 'maybe eventually' card. I just got the CSP back in February for the awesome signup bonus, which was much more appealing than worrying about an extra 1% on restaurants. Since I really don't like to get a lot of new cards at once I'm pretty much done apping until around summer of 2017.

Had I not gotten the CSP though I probably would have pulled the trigger on the Amex BCE, which is a card I've been considering for a long time now. The 3% grocery rewards are a bit more appealing to me than the 3% restaurants because the Freedom and It do consistently offer restaurants as a category and usually in different quarters. However, Discover doesn't offer groceries as a quarter, only Freedom. So I have more of a 'need' for an amped up grocery card. Plus I think the BCE is just a card I'd rather have.

So basically the AARP card won't happen for at least 2+ years and maybe longer if something more appealing comes along. I'd probably be opening it around the time I close the CSP.

Vattené wrote: When I started out focusing on credit card rewards I just had a Discover. I put absolutely everything I could (that didn't cost extra) through the card, and I loved using the spend analyzer to get a good picture of all of my spending.


Yeah I love Discover's spend analyzer! I wish all my cards had a feature like that.

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Vattené
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby Vattené » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:33 pm

I love the Amex equivalent, too. Discover recently added tags, but Amex tags are more convenient. You can track spending with Amex tags and make automatic rules with them. I wish Discover let you send them receipts and attach them to their respective transactions like Amex does!
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 805 (2/17) | TU - 787 (2/17)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

TXviking
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby TXviking » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:40 am

I've also started setting pretty high thresholds for opening new accounts. Depending on T&Cs, I'll open a new checking or savings account if it earns me $100-$200, but due to the credit impact of CC apps, card signup bonuses need to be in the neighborhood of $500 before I'll apply for a credit card. That's not to say I won't apply for a card with a lower bonus if the terms in general are an exceptionally good fit for my needs, but that hasn't happened recently.

I don't really "play the game" with credit cards, so I won't sign up for a card with a good signup bonus if the card is otherwise useless.

astronautcowboy
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby astronautcowboy » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:28 pm

TXviking wrote:
astronautcowboy wrote:If you have a ton of Chase cards like me, you can get to a human for any of those cards immediately too, which is nice.


Yeah. I don't have a ton, but I had two others (Amazon and United.) I've since closed the United card, but the CSP CSR was able to notate international travel on both my remaining accounts at the same time, for example. So that's a good addition.


Even if I'm calling about another card, I call the CSP line. Doesn't matter what I'm calling about! They make it work.

TXviking
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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby TXviking » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:43 pm

astronautcowboy wrote:
TXviking wrote:
astronautcowboy wrote:If you have a ton of Chase cards like me, you can get to a human for any of those cards immediately too, which is nice.


Yeah. I don't have a ton, but I had two others (Amazon and United.) I've since closed the United card, but the CSP CSR was able to notate international travel on both my remaining accounts at the same time, for example. So that's a good addition.


Even if I'm calling about another card, I call the CSP line. Doesn't matter what I'm calling about! They make it work.


Well, that's if you can reach them. Just had them decline an attempted international collect call. :beat:

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Re: Credit non-priorities

Postby Tubpbs » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:19 am

Isn't here a specific number on the back of the card for international collect calls?
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It



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